Quantum Adds Portability To LTFS Storage

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Quantum’s introductory Linear Tape File System appliance features a network-attached storage front end

Quantum got into the young but promising Linear Tape File System (LTFS) business on 16 April by launching an appliance that offers new methods of portability and user accessibility for archived video content on digital tape.

The company made the announcement at the National Association of Broadcasters conference in Las Vegas.

NAS front end

Quantum’s Scalar LTFS features a network-attached storage (NAS) front end and is based on the file system’s open standard for video content formatting, the company’s Strategic Business Manager, Mark Pastor, told eWEEK. The appliance sits between the media and the tape storage library to serve as a content distribution system for video or other heavy workloads, such as cloud services.

“What we’re doing here is that up to now, Quantum has not had an LTFS solution for our tape libraries,” Pastor said. “There are some open-source, freely available software downloads from us and others to utilise standalone drives with LTFS, but there’s not too much available in the way of solutions to allow customer to write tapes in the LTFS format.”

LTFS-based content works with existing application and file system tools and is easily managed, transported and made accessible for long-term data protection and archival storage, Pastor said.

The Linear Tape File System format is a self-describing tape format developed by IBM and released in 2010 to address tape archive requirements.

The Scalar LTFS appliance also can be used to import and export LTFS open-standard media into Quantum’s StorNext File System, which already is used by a number of media companies. This, in effect, provides a content-distribution alternative for cloud services and heavy-duty applications such as video archiving, Pastor said.

Cost savings

The NAS interface on the Scalar LTFS appliance enables media files captured on digital recording media such as XDCAM disk or P2 solid-state drives (SSDs) to be easily copied onto Linear Tape-Open (LTO) tape.

This frees up the high-end digital media for reuse, saving the cost of additional expensive media. The Scalar LTFS appliance presents files stored on tape as a file system, making it easy for users and applications to organise and search archived content.

The appliance has the ability to access up to 10PBs of archived data, and it is able to scale as content and performance needs grow, Pastor said. Files can be dragged and dropped to LTFS tape cartridges in Quantum’s Scalar libraries and partitioned directly from the user’s native file browser.

The Scalar LTFS appliance will be available beginning in June in three models: enterprise, departmental and SMB. List pricing begins at around $15,000 (£9,400).

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